Saturday, January 8, 2011

No more pussyfooting: The Republicans and the C of C are trying to kill us

Historically, nothing has terrified conservatives so much as efficient, effective, activist government. “A thoroughly first-rate man in public service is corrosive,” the former president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce argued in an interview published in the journal Nation’s Business in 1928. “He eats holes in our liberties. The better he is and the longer he stays the greater the danger. If he is an enthusiast–a bright-eyed madman who is frantic to make this the finest government in the world–the black plague is a housepet by comparison.” 

Rick Perlstein, "Enemies of State"

My thanks to AmiBlue, who wrote about this in a piece called "Don't tell 'em, sell 'em" over at Dagblog.  This is powerful stuff.  The Big Business assault was (and is) even worse than we could ever have imagined.  The quote above by the C of C flack would be chilling enough today, but considering it was the battle cry already in 1928, it shows clearly the kind of relentless, never-ending  propaganda we're up against.

 From Perlstein's article:
Consider the famous December 2, 1993 memo by William Kristol entitled “Defeating President Clinton’s Health Care Proposal.” The notion of government-guaranteed health care had to be defeated, he said, rather than compromised with, or else: “It will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.” Kristol wrote on behalf of an organization called the Project for a Republican Future. The mortal fear is that if government delivers the goods, the Republicans have no future. 

They have big money behind them.  They have the recent supreme court decision behind them.  They have the Republican Party, the right wing media and much of the mainstream media behind them.  And they have an astonishing number of just plain folks who just don't get it behind them.

Incredible, considering their goal has always been to do the rest of us in so that they can grow richer and stronger--but that's the enemy, that's the battle, and that's what we're up against.

We have to keep working at stopping them, and what worries me is I'm hearing from so many people on our side who say they're disheartened and discouraged and disgusted and are ready to quit.  This is not the time to quit!  They may have big money and big numbers on their side, but might, dammit, does not make right.

They'd like nothing better than to see us all surrender.  They're thrilled by the cave-in of the only other entities with enough power to puncture their armor--the White House and a solid number of  Democrats in Congress.

If you can read that stuff above and still walk away, then do me this one last favor:  Turn around and look out there.  Weep with me on the shore as we watch our beautiful ship taking on water, listing, groaning, losing power.  I see it as a battle ship.  You might be seeing it as a cruise ship.  Either way, it's ours and it's sinking and if there are lifeboats on the way, they're too little, too few, too late. 

But have a nice day.
Cross-posted at Dagblog here.


  1. Thing is, Ramona, in addition to the incredible numbers of people who will allow themselves to be led by their emotions into attacking themselves and their families in the name of god and guns, we also have the carping and caviling from our side about how incremental progress is not sufficient.

    As though in 2008, one election was going to do everything, as though Harry Obama Potter was going to wave a magic wand, and with a single incantation, solve every problem in existence.

    Can't happen. Decades of malfeasance can't be undone in a single stroke. It takes time to disassemble those structures, and do it in ways that mean they'll stay disassembled. And institutional inertia is a real obstacle. "That's how we've always done it." is the single biggest brake on progress and innovation humanity has ever devised, and it's constantly in play.

    So we do have to try to open the eyes and minds of those deluded souls on the right, and at the same time rein in some of the self-sabotaging elements here on our side.

    Time to drop the pet issues, leave the war crimes indictment talk for the ICC (where it rightly belongs), and begin taking a longer and wider view.

    And it's long past time our side realizes that stories carry far more weight than statistics, and begins to reach for the lizard-brain as a marketing approach. Be angry, and be smart - it can be done and it will work.

  2. A sad update to this: AZ Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was murdered today at a townhall event she was hosting in Tucson. She was on Sarah Palin's "target list" - and someone with far-too-easy access to firearms apparently took Palin at her word. (Her PAC website featured representative names and districts marked with crosshairs.)

    Rhetoric has given way to armed violence from the right.

  3. Well, thankfully, Rep. Giffords is still alive, though in critical condition.

    The other people who were murdered are, sadly, quite dead. All thanks to over-the-top political rhetoric, the easy availability of firearms, and the tragic suggestibility found in some of our citizens.

    As Dick Gregory used to say, this nation is insane.

  4. Alan, thanks for your thoughts here. You make so many good points about the real battles we're facing. The attack on Giffords is the tipping point--for the moment. Will it all be forgotten in a few weeks as the same old rhetoric pumps up and we're left with the same old nothing? I hope not.

    I like "Harry Obama Potter". Don't I wish?!?

    I'm really surprised that no one is focusing on the event Giffords' opponent advertised in June. This is outrageous, and even more so now:

    Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M15 with Jesse Kelly


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